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cloud. Is there any fire in nature which produces the clouds of our atmosphere? There is: the fire of the sun.
Thus, by tracing backward, without any break in the chain of occurrences, our river from its end to its real beginnings, we come at length to the sun.
There are, however, rivers which have sources somewhat different from those just mentioned. They do not begin by driblets on a hill side, nor can they be traced to a spring. Go, for example, to the mouth of the river Rhone, and trace it backwards to Lyons, where it turns to the east. Bending round by Chambery, you come at length to the Lake of Geneva, from which the river rushes, and which you might be disposed to regard as the source of the Rhone. But go to the head of the lake, and you will find that the Rhone there enters it, that the lake is in fact a kind of expansion of the river. Follow this upwards; you find it joined by smaller rivers from the mountains right and left. Pass these, and push your journey higher still. You come at length to a huge mass of ice-the end of a glacier-which fills the Rhone valley, and from the bottom of the glacier the river rushes. In the glacier of the Rhone you thus find the source of the river Rhone.
But again we have not reached the real beginning of the river. You soon convince yourself that this earliest water of the Rhone is produced by the melting of the ice. You get upon the glacier and walk upwards along it. After a time the ice disappears and you come upon snow. If you are a competent mountaineer you may go to the very top of this great snow-field, and if you cross the top and descend at the other side you finally quit the snow, and get upon another glacier called the Trift, from the end of which rushes a river smaller than the Rhone.
You soon learn that the mountain snow feeds the glacier. By some means or other the snow is converted into ice. But whence comes the snow? Like the rain, it comes from the clouds, which, as before, can be traced to vapour raised by the sun. Without solar fire we could have no atmospheric vapour, without vapour no clouds, without clouds no snow, and without snow no glaciers. Curious then as the conclusion may be, the cold ice of the Alps has its origin in the heat of the sun.
DOMINION BALLADS-No. 3.
THE SIEUR DE ROBERVAL.
Sieur de Roberval appointed Governor-General of Canada, Francis of France, who called him his "Little King of Vimeu," nation and was lost at sea.
a favorite of King sailed for his desti
The sailors, when high noontide rung,
To pray good heaven for favoring gales;
Belched forth the cannon of the town,
And at sunset was half-hull down.
When evening fell the red sun burned
And there amidst his comrades true
For days and nights the wind blew free,
To make all snug aloft and low;
And forged ahead with slackened way,
A misty shadow dank and grey.
THE BANK OF ENGLAND.
HIS is an insulated assemblage of buildings and courts, occupying three acres, minus nine or ten yards, north of the Royal Exchange, Cornhill; bounded by Prince's-street, west; Lothbury, north; Bartholomew-lane, east; and Threadneedle-street, south. Its exterior measurements are 365 feet south, 410 feet north, 245 feet east, and 440 feet west. Within this area are nine open courts; a spacious rotunda, numerous public offices, court and committee-rooms, an armoury, engraving and printing-offices, a library, and apartments for officers, servants, etc.
The Bank, "the greatest monetary establishment in the world," was projected in 1691, by Mr. William Paterson, a Scotsman; was
established by a company of Whig merchants, and incorporated by William III., July 27, 1694, Paterson being placed on the list of Directors for this year only; the then capital, £1,200,000, being lent to Government. The first chest used was somewhat larger than a seaman's.
The first Governor was Sir John Houblon, whose house and garden were on part of the site of the present Bank; and the first Deputy-Governor was Michael Godfrey, who, July 17, 1695, was shot at the siege of Namur, while attending King William with a communication relating to the Bank affairs.
The Bank commenced business at Mercers' Hall, and next removed to Grocers' Hall, then in the Poultry; at this time the secretaries and clerks numbered but 54, and their united salaries amounted to £4350. In 1734 they removed to the premises built for the Bank, the earliest portion of which part is still remaining -the back of the Threadneedle-street front, towards the courtwas designed by an architect named Sampson. To this building Sir Robert Taylor added two wings of columns, with projections surmounted by pediments, and other parts. On January 1, 1785, was set up the marble statue of William III., amid the firing of three volleys, by the servants of the establishment, Cheere, sculptor, in the Pay Hall, 79 feet by 40 feet, which, in the words of Baron Dupin, would "startle the administration of a French bureau, with all its inaccessibilities."
In 1757, the Bank premises were small, and surrounded by St. Christopher-le-Stocks Church (since pulled down), three taverns, and several private houses. Between 1766 and 1786 east and west wings were added by Taylor: some of his work is to be seen in the architecture of the garden court. Upon Sir Robert Taylor's death, in 1788, Mr. John Soane was appointed Architect to the Bank; and, without any interruption to the business, he completed the present Bank of brick and Portland stone, of incombustible materials, insulated, one-storied, and without external windows. The general architecture is Corinthian, from the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli, of which the southwest angle exhibits a fac-simile portion. The Lothbury court is fine; and the chief Cashier's office is from the Temple of the Sun and Moon at Rome. The embellishments throughout are very beautiful; and the whole well planned for business-high architectural merit. The Rotunda has a dome 57 feet diameter; and the Bank Parlour, where the Governor and Company meet, is a noble room by Taylor. Here the dividends are declared: and here the Directors are baited halfyearly by every Proprietor who has had £500 Bank-stock in his possession for six months. In the Parlour lobby is a portrait of Daniel Race, who was in the Bank service for more than half a century, and thus amassed upwards of £200,000. In the antechamber to the Governor's room are fine busts of Pitt and Fox, by Nollekens. The ante-room to the Discount Office is adapted from
Adrian's Villa at Tivoli. The private Drawing Office, designed in 1836, by Cockerell (Soane's successor), is original and scenic; and the Drawing Office, completed by the same architect in 1849, is 138 feet 6 inches long, and lit by four large circular lanterns. In 1850, the Cornhill front was heightened by an attic; and a large room fitted up as a Library for the clerks.
The entrance to the Bullion Yard is copied from Constantine's Arch at Rome, and has allegories of the Thames and Ganges, by T. Banks, R. A. The Bullion Office, on the northern side of the Bank, consists of a public chamber and two vaults-one for the public deposit of bullion, free of charge, unless weighed; the other for the private stock of the Bank. The duties are discharged by a Principal, Deputy-Principal, Clerk, Assistant-Clerk, and porters. The public are on no account allowed to enter the Bullion Vaults. Here the gold is kept in bars (each weighing 16 lbs. and worth about £800), and the silver in pigs and bars, and dollars in bags. The value of the Bank bullion in May, 1850, was sixteen millions. This constitutes, with their securities, the assets which the Bank possess against their liabilities, on account of circulation and deposits: and the difference between the several amounts is called "the Rest," or balance in favour of the Bank. For weighing, admirably-constructed machines are used: the larger one, invented by Mr. Bate, for weighing silver in bars from 50 lbs. to 80 lbs. troy; second, a balance, by Sir John Barton, for gold; and a third, by Mr. Bate, for dollars, to amounts not exceeding 72 lbs. 2 ozs. troy. Gold is almost exclusively obtained by the Bank in the bar form; although no form of deposit would be refused. A bar of gold is a small slab, weighing 16 lbs., and worth about £800.
In the Weighing Office, established in 1842, to detect light gold, is the ingenious machine invented by Mr. William Cotton, then Deputy-Governor of the Bank. About 80 or 100 light and heavy sovereigns are placed indiscriminately in a round tube; as they descend on the machinery beneath, those which are light receive a slight touch, which moves them into their proper receptacle; and those which are legitimate weight pass into their appointed place. The light coins are then defaced by a machine, 200 in a minute; and by the weighing-machinery 35,000 may be weighed in one day. There are six of these machines, which from 1844 to 1849 weighed upwards of 48,000,000 pieces without any inaccuracy. The average amount of gold tendered in one year is nine millions, of which more than a quarter is light. The silver is put up into bags, each of one hundred pounds value, and the gold into bags of a thousand; and then these bagfuls of bullion are sent through a strongly-guarded door, or rather window, into the Treasury, a dark gloomy apartment, fitted up with iron presses, and made secure with huge locks and bolts.
The Bank-note machinery, invented by the Oldhams, father and